Did you know that assertiveness is one of the key skills required for effective leadership?
I was reading an article from Harvard Business Review “The one skill that all leaders should work on” by Scott Edinger. And that skill is assertiveness. It is exciting when you see Harvard Business Review writing about the importance of Assertiveness. I agree with Scott Edinger who said assertiveness gets a bad rap and is often seen as someone being too pushy. People prefer to know where they stand or what is expected of them in the workplace.The reality is that we need our leaders to be assertive and effective in their communication.
This is further backed up by research from Kouzes and Possner in their book The Leadership Challenge where they found that the number one characteristic that people are looking for in their leaders is honesty. I think the key is to be able to combine effective listening skills, and empathy with Assertive communication to influence and create impact. Leaders need to be able to speak up and advocate for resources or to challenge for policy changes. They also need to be comfortable to say no and give effective feedback.Some experts say that in the customer services area we spend too much time focused on trying to please our clients rather than being honest with them and challenging them to look at new ideas. Sometimes we get caught up in trying to please everyone and then not being able to deliver.
So is assertiveness one of your skills that you have in your leadership tool box?